MANILA, Philippines -- De La Salle-College of St. Benilde (CSB) nearly squandered a double-digit lead before recovering its composure down the stretch for a 66-58 win over Jose Rizal University (JRU), Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
It was a no-bearing game for either team, as the Blazers were eliminated from Final 4 contention in the NCAA Season 95 tournament after San Sebastian Colleges' victory earlier in the day against Arellano University.
They still made enough plays down the stretch to hold off the Heavy Bombers for their 8th win of the men's basketball tournament, while handing JRU their 13th defeat.
Prince Carlos was perfect from the field and finished with 13 points, hitting the dagger three-pointer with 34.5 seconds left to play. Unique Naboa also had 13 points, while Mark Sangco had 11 markers.
"We just needed to relax and calm down," said CSB coach TY Tang, whose team led by as much as 19 points in the contest. "Andiyan na naman kami sa mga inconsistencies namin. Roller-coaster ride pa rin kami."
"It's just about our character and the winning mentality, winning mindset," he added.
A huge third quarter saw the Blazers outscore the Heavy Bombers, 29-13, and they were well in control, 48-30, heading into the final frame.
But the Heavy Bombers waxed hot from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter, with Agem Miranda, Ry dela Rosa, and John Amores all finding their mark to make it a tight ballgame.
Amores knocked down a triple with 63 seconds left to make it a one-possession game, 58-55, and Edward Dixon could only split his charities with 56.5 seconds to go for a 59-55 count.
That opened the door for another Amores three-pointer, making it a 1-point game with 48.3 seconds to play, 59-58.
Fortunately for CSB, Carlos was there to douse the JRU rally. The guard drilled a three-pointer of his own with 34.5 seconds to go, before Justin Gutang put the finishing touches on the win with a slam dunk in transition.
JL Delos Santos and Amores each scored 10 points for the Heavy Bombers, who shot just 32.26% from the field.
The Blazers will try to play spoiler against Mapua University on Friday.
CSB (66) -- Carlos 13, Naboa 13, Sangco 11, Gutang 9, Belgica 7, Dixon 7, Flores 4, Nayve 2, Haruna 0, Leutcheu 0, Lim 0, Mosqueda 0, Young 0.
JRU (58) -- Delos Santos 10, Amores 10, Aguilar 9, Dela Rosa 7, Abaoag 6, Arenal 6, Vasquez 4, Dionisio 3, Miranda 3, Macatangay 0.
Quarter scores: 8-10, 19-17, 48-30, 66-58
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